I'm making a béchamel sauce, can I substitute soy milk for regular milk?

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11 Comments

Chell R. November 7, 2012
I know this post is ages old, but I'm gonna share that I just made a soy bechamel for the first time, and it was devine. I did absolutely nothing fancy- butter, flour, soy milk, salt, pepper, parmesan. The flavour was rich, the texture was smooth. I wouldn't hesitate to make it over and over again :)
 
Anitalectric February 7, 2011
Yes, you can.

I have made incredibly tasty bechamels with (unsweetened) soymilk, almond milk and coconut milk. You can even substitute the butter for olive oil if you want. Here is a variation on bechamel (for mac 'n' cheese) you can play around with. I have made it many times (with countless variations) and it never disappoints. http://www.thekindlife.com/forum/thread/cheezy-sauce-veganomicon. The only thing I do differently is make a roux with the flour (brown it with the oil and garlic and then add the broth or nondairy milk).

When you play around with ingredients and tweak recipes to your tastes it sure is "something else."
 
Lucytron February 6, 2011
Chicken or veggie broth would probably be a better choice, although my general motto is not to make an ingredient pretend to be something else - if you can't eat dairy, make something that doesn't need dairy.
 
ChefDaddy February 5, 2011
Maybe go with a velote instead?
 
susan G. February 5, 2011
I use an unsweetened soy milk, ingredients soy and water. Even so, the sweeteners are added to come close to the profile of cow's milk, which is naturally from the lactose (to which some of us are intolerant). I just would rather not have all those ingredients, and find that this suits my needs. If you feel there is a taste issue, season with herbs, etc; if there is a thickness issue, adjust the flour to acheive the results you need.
 
smallinsights February 5, 2011
Soy milk may not be dairy, but it has health benefits that milk may not have. It's always worth a shot. Also, try almond milk, unsweetened....
 
spiffypaws February 5, 2011
I've done it, out of necessity because I'm lactose intolerant. It won't be as good, obviously. I've also used rich, homemade chicken stock in place of milk, and I think that the final result was better.
 

Voted the Best Reply!

pierino February 5, 2011
Not in your wildest dreams. Milk is milk. Dairy is dairy. Soy is not dairy. And a bechamel without milk is well..something else.
 
Shoshannah S. October 17, 2014
Oh definitely in your wildest dreams! I know this is an old post, but how ridiculous! Unsweetened soy milk makes a delicious béchamel, as does unsweetened almond milk. I prefer almond milk. A béchamel sauce made with almond milk will surpass your wildest dreams. It's much better than dairy as it lends a smoothness and gives the sauce a complexity you couldn't hope for with cow milk.
 
drbabs February 5, 2011
I personally agree with aargersi, but if you can't eat dairy, here is a recipe that you might want to try:
http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/creamsavorysauces/r/Bechamel.htm
 
aargersi February 5, 2011
Well you CAN ... but I wouldn't. I don't think it is rich and creamy enough ... plus it has a sweetness to it that regular milk doesn't. I think it might end up tasting odd.
 
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